8 Ways to Survive a Friend Break-Up.
You know what stings more than that super cute dude never calling you back?
When your best friend pulls those icy moves on the dance floor. You’re all shaking your butt together, laughing, then she freezes and does the Iceman. Totally startling.
We have all been there with that one friend. You know, the friend who lets you wear her sports bra so your boobs don’t bounce out of control, the one you vacation with, the one that you introduced to the guy of her dreams. The one whose hand you hold and you cry with when she tells you about her sick brother.
Something happens, that you can barely remember now, and things just go downhill. You call, text, invite her over, and you’re met with maybes and Sorry, I’m too busy. After knowing each other for a while, you let down your guard, say stupid shit, and try to apologize for it, but she will not allow it. She will not call you back, but sends you a quick text, “Thanks, can’t talk.” Oh man, the humanity!
I feel you. The confusion, the hurt, it’s 10 times worse than when someone you’re dating blows you off. Because this is from the one you went to when all that other crazy shit the fan. What do you do now to get through the most painful break-up of all?
1. Stop pretending everything is normal.
You might ask her if something is wrong, and she says nothing is wrong, she’s just busy. So you try to pretend that nothing is different, while feeling that icy wall between the two of you whenever you see her in public. You are no good at pretending, it makes you sick to your stomach and gives you other flu-like symptoms. So, don’t. Don’t go to the party, even if she invited you, and you think it might be to make up. You don’t need intense iciness, it’s meant only for your drink.
Instead, talk about what’s going on, even if you’re looked at like you have three boobs. Take a stand for open honest communication, letting her know that it’s safe for her to tell you what’s up.
2. You are not McDonald’s fries, you are filet mignon. Own it.
You are not a greasy side dish, you are the main dish — absolutely delicious! If you feel like an afterthought in any way, than that’s not okay. If you’ve done something wrong, you deserve to be treated with respect and told about it right away. You deserve to be savored because you’re not some asshole she dated (for way too long) who had really bad hair. You are her best friend.
Don’t be afraid to question whether or not you really want to be treated this way, no matter what she decides you have done wrong.
3. Try not to go West Side Story on her ass.
She may or may not be telling everyone else and their dog about all the horrible things you said, creating what feels like gangs against you. Try not to get to that level. If you feel hurt, talk to her directly, instead of finding other people who agree with you (because there will always be those people who believe you are justified to be pissed off, and that you owe her nothing in return).
If she finally decides to tell you what’s up, do your best to not draw out your high kick and high collar. Instead, keep your heart open to what she has to say.
4. Do not give her special freedom to be an asshole, simply because she’s your best friend.
She wouldn’t be okay with anyone else treating you this way, so why should you let her treat you this way? People hold on for way too long, getting slap after slap, simply because of shared memories and time. I’m not saying cut her out as she has cut you out, I’m saying know when to stop asking for an explanation.
This is not easy to figure out, but you pretty much know it’s almost time to hit the road when you’re crying your eyes out on her voicemail, but she’s still too busy to call you back.
5. Forget the grudge, she’s not sexy.
As sexy as The Grudge is with her slow morbid movement, creepy face gestures, and awkward silences, don’t let her take over. Yes, cry it out, get held, do the scream/cry at your partner about how much it hurts, dance it out in the field. But don’t walk around feeling justified in being all grudge-y. Remember, this is the person you once thought the world of, and you can still treat her with incredible love and respect.
It’s dangerous for your health to hold a grudge, and you attract a lot of more things that bring on that hurt when you hold on to it.
6. Resist the Why Me and find your joy.
Oh, what a world! It’s so easy to decide to swear off all female friendships, move to Africa, take on a new name. It’s so easy to look for all the signs that told you that she would eventually dick you over so you can blame yourself. It’s so easy to let the sadness melt into every area of your life, so much that you forget to notice and appreciate all of the dear friends who can’t get enough of you.
Give yourself a day or two of feeling really bad. I mean, so bad that you don’t have to drag the hurt through the rest of your days, you get it out and over with. Like throwing up, you will feel so much better after you do it (but avoid all electronic communication during it… you will thank me for this one).
7. Find the gift in rejection.
There is something here for you in this. Some kind of gift. Now you have a lot more time on your hands to be around people who really want to be around you, who might mirror your value system more so than your old friend. You can focus on projects, people, places, and things that bring you so much bliss, you almost forgot how much you loved them and how easy friendship can be.
Plan your life, and schedule around these things now, vowing to make more time for all of the wacky fun you deserve to have.
8. Forgive like it’s your job.
There was a time in your life that you did the same shit. It’s okay to admit it: you didn’t communicate a hurt to a dear friend, and ended up burning that bridge like a troll out of hell. You walked away without even trying, without even communicating. Might have happened in third grade or just last year. You’re not making allowances for behavior, you’re just realizing that everyone does stupid hurtful things sometimes, and we all deserve grace.
Grace looks like saying you’re sorry and really meaning it, it looks like wishing someone well and really hoping that they finally got that job they wanted, even though they’re not around to tell you about it. Forgiveness in your heart makes it soft, yielding, loving, open to all the beauty this world wants to usher in to fill anything that has gone missing.
Here’s to surviving, learning, and healing from the worst break up of them all.
Maria Palumbo is a healer. She is a dancer in the dark. She lovingly guides women in the retrieval of their own souls through coaching, workshops, and community development. She celebrates freedom from shame in body, mind, and soul. Her work is fun and delicious, making the journey of healing gorgeous and satisfying, like a kiss under the Full Moon. Fall in deep love with your soul by connecting with her on Facebook or at her website.